Friday, October 1, 2010

Work to Live or Live to Work?

Take a look at this gorgeous autumn photo of the Biosphere, in Montreal.

Now a question: On a day like this, would you rather drop everything and take your family for a walk along the river, or work?

If you'd rather walk than work, then you, like me, work to live.

You see success in business as a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Here's my take on this age-old question of life balance ...

Since July 1 of this year, I've kept a special journal, in which I jot down 3-4 things I savored each day.

And here's what I found analyzing more than 270 journal entries over the past 90 days: Less than 5% of the best things in my life are things money can buy.

Examples of this 5%:
  • "stack of books in mail from Amazon"
  • "a big check for $____"
  • "our newly redecorated basement room"
By contrast, about 95% of the best things in my life are free. They include:
  • "morning coffee on the deck"
  • "the Tigers in first place"
  • "chicken dinner with laughter"
  • "swimming in the lake"
  • "watching the sunset from a bridge"
  • "walking Ginger (my dog)"
The best things in life are free. Duh. You knew that, right?

But there's more ...

Most of the best things in life -- things that money can't buy -- are experiences, not things.

Yes, I had to buy the coffee and pay the contractors to build the deck, for example. But you can't buy the 30 minutes I woke up early and spent, coffee in hand, watching the sunrise sparkle on the creek out back.

Yes, you can buy a chicken dinner at a restaurant, but not the laughter -- that's priceless. Literally.

And so on.

So, don't let earning a living keep you from living. Money's nice, but the experiences are what count. And you need to unchain your butt from your desk to make those happen.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's Friday and the fall colors are peaking. It's time for a long lunch and a longer walk outside with my wife and dog ...

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast-or-famine" syndrome in your business, grab your free Client Cloning Kit here.  

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with your idea (and the author, Tim Ferriss). Too many people chase the idea that money brings you eternal happiness, when it just brings you freedom to do stuff you want to be able to do/experience which is really just priceless.